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French Valley Industrial Park certified as a shovel-ready site

For food and beverage processing facilities

RUSSELL SPRINGS, Ky. (March 9, 2017) — French Valley Industrial Park has been certified as a shovel-ready site for food and beverage processing facilities.

By receiving the Austin Consulting Shovel-Ready Site Designation Award, the Russell County Industrial Development Authority will focus recruitment efforts on the food and beverage industry, a possibility that presented itself when Fruit of the Loom closed its Jamestown factory in 2014 and left the county with excess water and wastewater capacity.

Austin Consulting, a division of The Austin Company founded in 1878, is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, and provides design-build and location consulting services for commercial and industrial operations. After learning about the shovel-ready designation Austin provides, RCIDA applied for an ARC grant through The Center for Rural Development with matching-fund assistance from South Kentucky RECC to pursue the certification.

Austin Consulting principals performed a detailed field investigation at French Valley — evaluating more than 200 critical variables — and met with city, county and state officials and utility representatives over the course of several months.

RCIDA was assisted in preparing this certification submittal by their long-time engineering consultant, MSE of Kentucky, Inc. MSE, located in Lexington, has assisted numerous Kentucky communities in preparing their economic development initiatives. The certification arms RCIDA officials with a detailed report that supports the 96-acre Russell Springs business park as a suitable food and beverage plant location. The report includes six sections with a series of maps, letters and documentation in the areas of ownership, property, transportation, utility, community and environment — areas that often create roadblocks for companies seeking a new location.

“[This certification] is really going to minimize your risk,” Austin Consulting Managing Director Frank Spano said during a meeting with county and state officials in August 2016 at Lake Cumberland State Resort Park. “We feel it is certainly going to benefit you as a community, you as an industrial development authority, locally, regionally and statewide.”